Each day at Vi Bella we have the privilege of witnessing the deep impact of our business. We have always been about so much more than jewelry and accessories. When Vi Bella was created more than 7 years ago it was in response to the deep poverty and deep beauty found in Haiti and Mexico, and the lives we wanted to continue to stand next to.
Our vision has always been one of a powerful circle of empowerment. Not only are our artisans given the opportunity to work at a job they love that also supports their families, but we are empowered by their stories of resilience, pride. Every smile makes us beam with gratitude that we get to be part of each other’s journeys.
We’d like you to meet two of the strong and beautiful women we work alongside each day.
Marie Yolaine has one of the most beautiful, contagious smiles we have ever seen. She is a consistent, encouraging presence to people around her, and encourages our Founder personally, lifting her spirits whenever she visits. She never lets Julie leave without thanking her for her job and telling her that she prays for Vi Bella everyday. But there is more to Marie Yolaine than a sweet, encouraging smile. There is deep strength and a determination to lift others up because she knows what it means to be down.
Marie Yolaine lost both her parents within two days from different causes as a young adult. She has had to make a way for herself from a young age. She also had a daughter of her own to care for when she was quite young. Now her daughter is a teen and they have experienced a great deal together. In addition to caring for her, Marie Yolaine helps care for her sister and her children. Because she has a job, she is able to provide school sponsorship to her own daughter and her sister’s children who live with her.
Marie Yolaine, her sister and family have all been living in a small, one room house while she has been building her own home. Because of some very generous donors through Vi Bella Serves, Marie Yolaine received a big boost with a gift of money to help finish the build. She is thrilled and so are we. We can’t wait until Julie can go back and see her and her family in their new home!
Another Marie is also being surrounded with love through her Vi Bella family. Marie Rose shyly told our Founder many months ago that she was expecting her second child.
A few months later, she tearfully shared that her doctor told her that she had large tumors growing along with her baby, and that her pregnancy would be complicated. The doctor told her that her baby’s health could be in danger, that if/when she got to her seventh month she would need to be off her feet and rest, and that she would likely need a C-section delivery. A dear friend to Vi Bella heard about her situation and along with her family donated enough money to insure good healthcare for Marie Rose throughout her pregnancy and delivery.
Marie Rose asked for prayers for health for her and the baby, and told us that she was confident that God would take care of them both. Each time Julie visited and saw Marie Rose, she reminded her to be sure to listen to the doctor’s advice to rest and that we would continue to pay her salary during her time off however long that would be. Remarkably, Julie found her at work when she was well into the 7th month of her pregnancy.
She was sitting in a cool spot on cushions with her feet propped up, friends at Vi Bella fussing over her comfort. Julie asked her if she should be home in bed, and she responded, “Both the baby and I are happier here.” Julie wondered, “What is home like for you?” Eventually, she did take time off near the end of her pregnancy.
Two weeks ago we received the happy news that Marie Rose had a healthy baby boy. Even better, there was no need for a C- section. We are praising God for answered prayers, and thanking Him for the good health care Marie Rose has received.
At this time, baby and mom are doing well. This new baby boy already has many “Aunties” at Vi Bella who love him and his mama, and will help support their family as he grows. The tight knit community that lifts each other up at Vi Bella is extraordinary.
The lives that are being touched is truly beautiful. Thank you for being part of the stories of these two Maries and ALL of those connected with Vi Bella.
Want to join the empowerment journey? We are hosting an event this Thursday, March 22nd. Simply click the image below and RSVP to join us!